Information Security Leader, Author, Instructor and Speaker

4 Ways to Use Context-Aware Security for Maximum Advantage

Posted on March 29, 2017 in Articles | by

Professionals at higher education institutions make context-aware security decisions every day. A security guard decides which visitors to allow on campus based on a quick assessment of vehicles and their drivers. Cybersecurity teams decide to allow or deny exceptions to endpoint security policies based on the nature of a device and the types of information it handles. The world of context-aware security seeks to automate these decision-making processes, bringing the world of analytics to bear on the problems of cybersecurity.

Context-aware security — the use of supplemental information to improve security decisions — holds great promise for the future of higher education cybersecurity. Institutions that start with the fundamentals and focus on high-value targets will reap the greatest rewards from this investment. Analysts will be able to dig deeper into security data with less time and effort, uncovering the relevant needles in the security data haystacks.

1. Begin with the Security Fundamentals

Context-aware security requires context. That’s not a startling conclusion, but it’s an area where many institutions fall short. Security decisions that are both contextual and wise require deep information about users and data. Before embarking on a context-aware security initiative, make sure you have a robust identity and access management infrastructure capable of providing useful attributes about individuals. For example, security products must be able to identify a person’s status — faculty member, student or administrator — and, preferably, his or her department.

Published March 29, 2017 on

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Mike Chapple, CISSP, Ph.D.

Mike is an IT leader, information security professional, author, speaker and trainer with over fifteen years of experience in the field.

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